Stripping shellac from oak kitchen cabinets

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  • #331990
    CORA DODD
    Participant

    How do I strip kitchen cabinets that are shellac and dirty. I want to redo them.A lot of grease. They are custom oak. You can see the rings. Want to use cherry shellac..

    15076680625511833649074

    #334417
    Alien8
    Participant

    If it is shellac then it can be stripped using mineral spirits…
    It ‘ll take lots of it to strip them down completely.

    You could also use a shallow set plane, if the shavings change color, you’re through.

    Good luck
    Diego

    #334544
    CORA DODD
    Participant

    Is there another way to strip them. Some kind of remover,brush on let set and strip off?

    #334566
    Craig
    Participant

    Cora,
    If it’s shellac Mineral Spirits will NOT work. The stronger commercial strippers ( for Epoxy, Urethane etc. )will work due to their alcohol content. If you use those…READ THE LABEL!
    Almost any alcohol, Rubbing(isopropanol), denatured (ethanol) and Wild Turkey 101 will work but the water content will raise the grain, so I’d get a gallon of denatured alcohol from your local big box or hardware store, it will have a low water content. You’ll probably need that much for all the cabinets.
    But, first check to see if the finish really is shellac by saturating a rag with whatever alcohol is handy and hold it against the cabinet surface to see if the finish becomes sticky and starts to dissolve.
    If after several applications the finish isn’t softening you may have a varnish of some type. In that case you can use any of the commercial strippers.
    Remember to wear Nitrile gloves and extinguish any sources of ignition ie. pilot lights etc. and most important safety glasses and forced air ventilation.
    Probably easiest to remove the doors and drawers and hardware to be able to work on a horizontal surface out side if possible.
    Any way you look at it, this is going to be a messy process.
    Best,
    Craig

    SW Pennsylvania

    #334578
    Ed
    Participant

    Are you sure you need to strip? The evenness of color looks excellent and the finish is worn but not awful, so if it is really shellac it might be quite possible to just refresh it. I’d at least try removing the grease and gunk followed by padding on some shellac, just to see. If it looks promising, then keep going with the shellac.

    #337810
    CORA DODD
    Participant

    Thanks Ed. Cabinets are pine. You are correct.

    #337816
    CORA DODD
    Participant

    Thanks Craig. I need to strip. Dr natured alcohol did not work.

    #337817
    CORA DODD
    Participant

    Thanks Craig. I need to strip. De natured alcohol did not work.

    #337819
    CORA DODD
    Participant

    Alien8 If I have to I will use the plane. Thanks a bunch.

    #337821
    CORA DODD
    Participant

    Ed, cleaning now, will shellac and put a picture up when I’m done.

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